Mississippi is a state of strict laws regarding moonshine, with the question of liberty and freedom of choice still remaining a major concern amongst the people. The southern part of the state used to be a hub of moonshine production, especially between the years of 1907 and 1966, when alcohol was banned in the whole state. Nowadays, bier and wyne are mainly consumed in Mississippi but hard alcohol is not frequently drunk. There are the so called “dry” and “wet” counties in the state of Mississippi. 34 out of 82 counties in the state are dry, which means that alcohol sales of hard liquor in those regions are prohibited. There are also so called “half dry” counties – 4 in number, due to judicial districts and electorate’s rights during elections. 36 counties in the state of Mississippi are currently dry for beer and light wine consumption. However, a petition can be signed by at least 20% of the population of a given county in order for a law concerning alcohol to be able to be changed.
In 2010 Mississippi state opened the first and only, so far, distillery since Prohibition period of 1709 – 1766. Cathead Distillery made its first 2500 bottles of Cathead Vodka debuting officially on 20th May 2010. Austin Evans and Richard Patrick are the”designers” of the now old-aged drink. The state Alcohol Beverage Control supervised all processes. The traditions of the state again made an impact even on the name of this first legal distillery. Blues musicians in the past were called cats and therefore, the name of the new company refers to the old traditions of the folks.
- Is owning a still legal?
No. The law in Mississippi states prohibition of still acquisition at home and also the home production of hard liquor is banned, even for domestic purposes. In accordance with the Mississippi Code, 67-1-10 (2013), it’s unlawful for any person to possess or own any distillery (known also as a still) or any parts of such machinery.
- Is it possible to get a “student permit” to distill alcohol as part of school science assignment?
Yes, it is possible but on special occasions concerning traditions or national days and feasts. An authority from the school must fill out a document and send it to the Chief of Enforcement. Adults must be present at the event in case that the participants are under 21 of age as stated in the law of Mississippi.
- Is it legal to distill essential oils and water in Mississippi?
Yes, it is legal. There is an exception in the Mississippi Code of 2013 that says owning a still for the case of distilling water is allowed by the state law.
- What kind of a permit do I need do distil ethanol in Mississippi?
The Mississippi Gasoline Tax Law imposes a tax of 18 cents per gallon on all ethanol distillation. Usually ethanol is mixed with gasoline and any person wishing to sell such a production must inform the Tax Commission and must be entered into their system as a Gasoline Contributor. This is the permit needed to distill ethanol in this state – a Gasoline Contributors Permit.
Finally, we are not lawyers, this info is for your entertainment only, so be sure to consult a crafty moonshine laws lawyer before spending any monies on your own distillation plant!
“Remember, the distillation of ethyl-alcohols is illegal without a permit per federal moonshine laws and is inherently dangerous because of ethanol’s flammability (never operate a homemade still indoors). For more moonshine laws and other moonshine still permit information, visit: http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/faq.shtml.”
http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/index.shtml – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Distilled Spirits
http://www.dor.ms.gov/abc/main.html – Alcoholic Beverage Control Office, Mississippi